What a Waste

According to host and molecular biologist Torah Kachur, there's no such thing as waste — only wasted resources. Scientists are transforming what has previously been seen as garbage into valuable materials that can be used in surprising (and sometimes profitable) ways.

This CBC Radio series breaks down complex problems into manageable pieces with practical solutions. Each episode features scientists from around the world, local stories and a Waste Warrior who is pushing the boundaries to repurpose his or her personal waste.

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Episodes

What a Waste Leftovers

This series has explored waste of all kinds from nuclear to electronic, to water waste and space junk. This week, host Torah Kachur looks at all of the other types of waste that pile up. Call it the leftovers edition. From paper to cigarette butts to tires, it's the garbage catch-all.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:29
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/17/2015

What a Waste Zero Waste

Is it possible to live a life of zero waste? Host Torah Kachur talks with scientists and innovative people who believe it's only a matter of time. People like Willie Franke, who has generated only one bag of garbage in the last decade.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/17/2015

What a Waste Water Waste

Canadians think we have plenty of it, but water is a valuable resource we already waste. In the coming decades we'll need solutions to our wasted water. Find out how science is looking way down the road and coming up with a plan.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/17/2015

What a Waste Human Waste

Host Torah Kachur finds out how flushing our waste down the drain is also flushing away cash. Scientists are working to turn feces into medical treatments and cow urine into drinkable water.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste Food Waste

Health officials estimate North Americans throw out about one-third of our groceries, while millions go hungry in other parts of the world. Scientists are working to turn that wasted food into plastic, animal feed, even fuel.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:28
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power is sometimes called the cleanest way to generate energy, but spent fuel cells are radioactive and dangerous for millions of years. Host Torah Kachur talks to scientists who are developing more efficient reactors and safer storage methods.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste Industrial Waste

We like to blame industry for our waste woes, but, it turns out, a lot of businesses are taking sustainability to heart. Their motivation? The the huge cost-savings that go into reducing, repurposing and even selling their waste.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste Space Junk

The amount of debris in space is rising exponentially and is a threat to astronauts, cosmonauts and martian colonizers. Scientists don't want to just clean it up, they're figuring out creative ways to re-use it.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste Gaseous Waste

Greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest problem to face the natural world today. In this episode, host Torah Kachur meets scientists turning methane into plastic, vacuuming up smog in Beijing parks and even capturing cow farts.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014

What a Waste eWaste

Fifty million tons of electronic waste, including cell phones, computers and toasters, are piling up every year, leaching poisons into soil and groundwater. Science is helping us extract valuable minerals (like gold!) hidden within our discarded gadgets.
  • 2014
  • 00:27:30
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 08/08/2014